SA Rugby reveal referees for British and Irish Lions Test series
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DURBAN – SA Rugby has revealed the referee line-up for the three-Test series between the Springboks and the British and Irish Lions.
They are: Nic Berry (Australia), Ben O’Keeffe (New Zealand) and Mathieu Raynal (France).
Five leading South African referees will assist the trio — Jaco Peyper, AJ Jacobs, Marius van der Westhuizen and television match officials Marius Jonker and Stuart Berry have all been named on the referee panel announced by World Rugby for the Lions Series, with Berry, O’Keeffe and Raynal taking charge of the Tests.
Furthermore, Mike Adamson from Scotland will be the man in the middle in the Springboks’ return to Test rugby, against Georgia on July 2, with Ireland’s Frank Murphy taking charge of the second Test against the Lelos, on July 9.
Jacobs will hold the whistle in the Lions' opener against the Golden Lions on July 3, while Peyper will be the man in the middle in the clash between the Sharks and the Lion, also scheduled for Emirates Airline Park, as well as the South Africa ‘A’ match in Cape Town on July 14.
Veteran local referee Peyper has extensive experience of refereeing Lions matches. He served as an assistant referee in South Africa in 2009 (matches against the Royal XV and the Sharks), while he refereed in the 2013 and 2017 British & Irish Lions tours to Australia (Waratahs match) and New Zealand (first Test) respectively.
SA Rugby Director Rassie Erasmus congratulated the contingent of South African referees appointed for this memorable international season.
“Participating in a British & Irish Lions series is a remarkable achievement, especially since this significant occasion only comes around every 12 years, so I’d like to congratulate our match officials who have been appointed to officiate in this year’s spectacle,” said Erasmus.
“They are all world class referees and their appointments in the series and the July Internationals against Georgia serves as confirmation of that, and the quality of the refereeing structures in South Africa.
“Just as every player who meets the British and Irish Lions cherishes the opportunity to face them, I have no doubt these deserving referees will do the same.”